The month of October is known for a few things like the leaves changing colors, Halloween, and scary movies. Recently it seems that the Horror genre has gone through a bit of a renaissance that offers more than the usual jump scare and “don’t go in that room,” moments you might come to expect. If you look at the Horror movies that have been released this past year, you’ll be able to find a wide range of Slasher, Supernatural, Psychological, Thriller, and Comedic Horror movies that push the genre just a bit further than your expectations. The three movies picked are a great way to get scared in time for Halloween or if you’re looking for something different to bring to movie night.
Beau is Afraid
Runtime: Three Hours
What can be described as a “Truman Show” inspired comedic horror, director Ari Aster continues his terrifying streak with production company A24 and Joaquin Phoenix for Beau is Afraid. Phoenix plays Beau, who is a very anxious middle-aged man who adventures through his city to go visit his mother. You might know Aster from previous A24 collaborations, Hereditary (2018) and Midsommar (2019), which can hint at the upcoming events that are portrayed throughout the film. Beau follows the Aster formula of stylized horror that’s able to blend comedic elements that catch the audience off guard while supplying additional story details and foreshadowing events in the background. Perspective plays a key role when watching as you’re with Beau every step of the way, experiencing life the way Beau does. For anyone new to Aster’s directing style this movie is a great way to get introduced to the mind-bending comedic horror that has become synonymous with the A24 company.
Beau Is Afraid (2023): 7/10, While the three-hour runtime might seem exhausting, the film does great work in taking us alongside Beau both in the metaphorical and physical sense when you get up from the couch after.
Runtime: One Hour 45 Minutes
What would happen if an art thief got trapped in the house they’re robbing? Willem Dafoe answers this question in the psychological thriller Inside. In his feature directorial debut, Vasilis Katsoupis expertly takes Dafoe’s character Nemo through the stages of grief while he confronts his obsession with art. Katsoupis transforms the penthouse prison to reflect Dafoe’s mental state through dreamlike delusions to make the audience question if his actions are rooted in his mind or reality. As lengths of time pass by, you begin to wonder what this does to a person while they watch the seasons change behind glass, and what type of lengths we as humans would go in pursuit of our freedom. Katsoupis’ feature debut, Inside, builds a chilling psychological thriller that’s perfect for getting movie night started this Halloween season.
Inside (2023): 6/10, Impressive use of location and the practical effects utilized, however, the film struggles toward the end to keep viewers entertained.
Knock at the Cabin
Runtime: One Hour 40 Minutes
Known for haunting twists, M. Night Shyamalan shows he can keep audiences on the edge of their seats in his newest film Knock at the Cabin. When a family of three goes on vacation they’re forced to sacrifice one when four strangers, who are plagued with visions of the apocalypse, show up to complete their mission. Shyamalan casts Dave Bautista, Ben Aldridge, Jonathan Groff, and Kristen Cui for this retelling of a biblical story that contains contemporary themes that provide the viewer with a new perspective on current-day issues. Other common themes explored within the film include societal prejudice, psychological thriller, sacrifice, and unconditional love people can share. While Shyamalan isn’t new to the game, Knock at the Cabin provides a refreshing horror experience that’s great to watch with the lights off.
Knock at the Cabin (2023): 9/10, Perfect example of a suspenseful horror movie that keeps the viewers entertained and left wondering if the family made the right decision in time to save the world.
Although each of these movies are different, they all tread the line of psychological thriller. Perfect for those who try to figure out the plot before the ending or those who say they aren’t scared by modern horror movies. Each film expertly adds to the level of suspense until the credits roll and you’re left questioning if that was the ending.